Tis the season of Girl Scout cookies. You see them everywhere. One of the things I’ve noticed over the last few years, these 9-16 year olds have become hard-core marketers. They understand point-of-sale, selling benefits not stats, and even joint promotions with retailers. Now here’s another tactic they’ve seem to have a great grasp on. I just ran across an article singing the Girl Scout praises on effectively using social media and mobile technology.
A group of Girl Scouts in silicon valley, no less, was able to sell over 400 boxes in less than an hour. How did these ambitious girls pull off such a sales coup? They combined social media with a smart phone app. First off, they decided to “target” one of their father’s place of work for their next sales. Lesson one: be seen where most of your customers are. Instead of just showing up, they organized an “event” on Facebook the day before their arrival. They tapped into the dad’s friend’s list which included many of his co-workers, whom passed along the event invite. Lesson two: advertise what you have and where to get it. When they arrived the next day at the scheduled “event”, they began selling, but ran into a small problem. Some of the customers didn’t have cash, but wanted to buy. Being the tech savvy business girls, they purchased an app on to their smart phone that allowed them to take credit cards on the spot. Lesson three: provide as many options for your customer to do business with you as possible. This heightened the sales even more because many of the customers (dad’s co-workers) were able to buy more since they didn’t have to have more cash on hand, just room on their credit card.
Of course, the girls still had to use their usual charm and salesmanship when trying to up sell their customers. By building an anticipation they were able to create demand. One key note to this success story, they had a brand that everyone knew about and was emotionally connected to already. This made sales much, much easier. The girls didn’t have to spend a lot of time explaining why their product fit into the customer’s lifestyle and extolling the benefits the customers would experience. A great brand enabled the Facebook event to create a swarm.
A blend of social media and new platforms (mobile devices) can be very successful if you have a great brand as a foundation. Also, if you come across any enterprising girl, invest in her, she’ll probably make you rich.